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Autumn Budget: RFS Position Statement
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The Government has missed a huge opportunity in its Autumn Budget to tap into a vast economic and environmental potential tied up in existing but under or unmanaged woodland.

The Royal Forestry Society (RFS) applauds measures in yesterday’s Autumn budget of a £10m commitment to urban and street trees (part of the Government’s pledge to plant 11million trees in England) and its promise to set aside £50m to purchase carbon credits from landowners who plant new trees, but believes it does not go far enough

RFS Chief Executive Simon Lloyd says: “New trees will take many years to reach their economic and societal potential and will only achieve the benefits we all hope from them if the resources are put in place to continue to manage them over the long term.

“More than 40% of our woodland is un or undermanaged and represents a huge resource of trees which have already grown. Many could be brought back into management relatively swiftly with society and the environment benefitting almost immediately. Yet this budget offers nothing to encourage the better management of these existing woodlands despite the growing acceptance of the many Public Goods they offer including carbon sequestration, flood attenuation and health and wellness benefits.”

A report on the missing potential of woodland on England and Wales will be published by the Royal Forestry Society in early 2019.